Petroleum Building

The Petroleum Building on Friday April 5, 2019. (Michael Cavazos/News-Journal Photo)

Renovation of the historical Petroleum Building in downtown Longview into apartment homes could be completed as early as November, a project manager said Tuesday.

Earl Kincaide with Saigebrook Development of Austin spoke to the city’s Historic Preservation Commission in hopes of getting a permit for a nearly 3-foot tall, 13-foot-wide sign to be placed on the 66-year-old structure at 202 N. Whaley St.

Kincaide must wait at least another month to obtain a certificate of appropriateness, as the commission failed to have a quorum necessary to take a vote Tuesday. Only three of the commission’s seven members attended Tuesday.

A public hearing still was held in which Kincaide updated commissioners on the project, which he said could be completed by the end of November.

“We have rough-framed probably the first three floors – fifth fourth, third. We’re waiting to get our inner windows in before we start the second floor because we need it to be weather-tight,” Kincaide said.

Electrical, plumbing and mechanical work are progressing, and utility meters are mostly in place with aid from the city, he added. He also expects municipal help with improving the Whaley Street surface damage once construction is nearly complete.

“They are going to work with us to repave the whole street. I think (city officials) had said they had it on the radar, but because of this, they may have shifted it a little bit, so the city has been very accommodating,” he said.}

Saigebrook and a Kansas contractor are converting the former parking garage and office building into more than 45 apartment homes using federal and state tax credits and a $600,000 municipal loan approved by the Longview City Council in August.

The sign will read “Alton Plaza I” in all caps along Whaley Street immediately right of the existing horizontal Petroleum Building sign, according to plans. The sign will be detached from the building’s exterior wall and be placed just above the ground and sidewalk.

The Texas Historical Commission and the National Park Service already have approved the sign, but it must have city Historic Preservation Commission approval because the building is a designated local historic landmark.

City Planner Angela Choy said the sign is “very size appropriate.”

“I like it. I think it’s terrific,” commission member Jim Cogar said. “It’s not going to overwhelm” the site.

At their next meeting, commissioners will reconsider the sign request as well as an application from the owners of Heritage Tower, who are seeking a historical landmark designation.

}Missouri-based Four Corners Development is renovating the former Weaver Building at Methvin and Green streets into Heritage Tower, with 35 rent and income-restricted apartments for people ages 55 and older.